Friday I am going to look at a Husky ZTR which is highly recommended by a lawncare company in another town. Just wondered if anyone has demo'd these machines or seen them at any shows? The website doesn't have much on commercial mowers.
If you have a subscription to PRO magazine, look on pages 20 & 21 or better yet look at any new exmark laser. They are almost idenical. Most likely exmark makes the mower for them. This is the same case with Lesco walk behinds and ZTRs. A company called MTD PRO makes them.
The only difference is the color. Now between the two I'd go with the exmark. But I would use the dealer that you are most comfortable with.
Unless you are speaking of a new model that I am unaware of, I think you are talking about the ones made by F.D.Kees in Beatrice, Nebraska. If so, I have a Kees and it has been a pretty good machine. The large frame 52 and 61 are very similar to the Lazer and for good reason. The smaller 42 and 48 are based on the smaller frame and completely different than the Lazer.
I bought mine because I didn't like the Exmark dealers I had talked to and the price was right on the 61" 25 HP Kees. I probably would buy a Exmark over the Kees if dealers were equal, primarily due to the parts availability. Husqvarna may have better parts availability than Kees, I don't know.
BTW, Exmark, after being bought by Toro, sued Kees after being bought by a company combining Yazoo and Kees. They admitting to a couple patent violations and paid small damages. It is very likely Exmark and Kees shared ideas, that Toro was unaware of. I've gone into this before, but basically, the President of Encore worked for FD Kees and the co-founded Exmark. All are in Beatrice, Nebraska. Draw your own conclusion
Husky mowers are the old Yazoo/Kees. Husky bought them about a year or so. John Deere bought Homelite and stopped using Echo for their 2 cycle stuff, Lesco stopped selling ISM and went with Kawasaki 2 cycle. Expect a lot more "consolidation" as co's with weaker profits get swallowed by bigger ones who want a patent or factory.
BTW, the Husky mowers are pretty good. The city where I live buys them, and they hold up to the worst kind of abuse. I have decided to go with a Husky 19hp Kawi 61" ZTR next spring. I like the Gravely, but I don't think the dealer is reliable.
I know Kawi's are powerful, I have 2, but I think that 19hp in a 61" ZTR ride on will not be enough. It will simply wear out that engine because it will always be under load. Don't they offer the 23hp? That will be a much better choice as it beats up on a 25hp Kohler.
Don't want to steer you wrong, I just think you will not be happy with 19 ponies. It may be marginally OK when new, but when that 19 gets tired, you'll loose 3 hp and then where will you be. Save that 19hp for 48 and maybe 52" ZTR's.